Covid CHAOS-The Games Narcissists Play.
Covid Isolation creates a forum for narcissistic abuse. You are not alone.
COVID-19 is a haven for narcissists and psychopaths to amp up the abuse at home. It is an opportunity for them to be menacing, abusive and to sabotage the career of the target, whilst disrupting the children and family and subjecting them to persistent chaos.
While the family members used to get a break from their chaos when they attended school and work, that is now removed. This means that there are constant opportunities for the narcissist to destroy any sense of routine, create instability and to ruin the structure in the home while throwing off the balance of the primary care-giver who is now often responsible for working a full-time job while supervising and providing constant care (and often providing support for distance learning) for young children. You are not alone.
Narcissists who previously got their supply outside of the home are now limited. However, many narcissists are not taking social distancing or COVID precautions seriously and are leaving the home, interacting with other people (often their other providers of supply) and exposing their targets and children to COVID repeatedly. For many reasons they prioritize getting supply over the safety and well being of their families. Many have not decreased their interaction with strangers and continue to prowl for new sources of supply and continue to maintain physical interactions with other people, including new people, that they have met for the first time. To be clear, COVID-19 has not prevented some people from continuing to hook-up with parties outside of their marriages, who they have never met before.
Narcissists gain supply from the reactions of others, whether those reactions are negative or positive. It is extremely fueling for them to disrupt the routines of their target and children. For parents who have firm routines in place, they can anticipate the narcissist doing whatever possible to disrupt these routines, particularly the routines of young children. There is an increase in the ability for them to disturb the sleep of other family members. They now have the ability to disrupt nap times, bedtime routines and other peaceful rest times. The target's reaction to this, increases their supply. It is especially fulfilling for them to disrupt the routines of young children who then do not settle and are in upset states for the remainder of the day.
Narcissists can see that the target (most often the primary and only actual care-giver of the children) is now in an extremely demanding situation. While they are now responsible for a full-time job while caring for their children, the job duties do not decrease in this situation. This is a perfect opportunity to create chaos, provoke upset, distract children from learning (which also undermines the role of the target and also is alienating) and otherwise prevent the target from doing their job. This causes the target increased stress and the narcissist gains more supply.
More than one parent has described to me, acts of narcissistic chaos that gave the narcissist several sources of supply at one time. At the same time, these specific acts appeared at first glance to be kind or generous gestures. The narcissist promoted himself as being a wonderful father while the behavior was not generous and in fact was disruptive. Since narcissists are wed to promoting a public image of a perfect parent, these types of acts provide excessive fuel.
Below are some of examples of the types of chaos that narcissists are causing during this time. In many of these scenarios, the target is put into a double bind. Narcissists are adept at creating double binds. In these scenarios, either action or choice that the target makes, puts her at a disadvantage. A normal functioning parent seeks to assist and resolve issues and does not create these scenarios which compromise their family members.
1. More than one parent provided toddler age children with numerous gifts at a time, as though it was a birthday or Xmas/Hanukah etc. The man stacked over twenty-five presents against the wall for a child who was four-years-old. The toys took up a large portion of a room in the family's small apartment. Many of the toys were not age appropriate and the child would not be able to even understand them but would want to open the box and remove the items inside. Many of the toys contained over 100 tiny parts that could be easily jumbled together with other boxes of toys containing over 100 tiny parts. These toys and others are choking hazards for a younger child in the home.
One of the toys included, was the reward present for a child who was working on discontinuing sucking his thumb. The deal was that he would receive a special toy once he did not suck his thumb, for a week. He had been working on this for two weeks.
When he saw the gifts he immediately lit up and asked to open it. This put the mother in a difficult situation. She felt that she would appear, "mean" if she did not allow this. However, he had not yet met this milestone. This situation was created to alienate her and put her authority in question. She was put into a double bind. If she allowed the child to have the toy she would not be sticking to the agreement that he would receive the toy after earning it. If she did this, she would take away from his self confidence building experience of having worked hard to achieve a goal. If she did not let him have the toy, he would be sad, upset, maybe upset with her.
The toys took up too much space in the home. Since he had done this before, and the mother was responsible to work full time from home whilst caring for the toddlers, she was unable to keep up with the mess. There was no more space in the home to store the toys and there was no place to put them to better organize them. The family's living conditions were compromised by pieces of toys being scattered all over. The narcissist made it impossible for her to maintain an organized space. He made chaos out of it. Children thrive in organized spaces in which things are predictable.
To an outsider all he did was provide the child with many gifts. The chaos these toys caused is not obvious to a person who does not understand narcissists and their tactics. This man received excessive supply from photographing the toys and posting them on social media.
2. Sauntering in and out of the home disrupting all routines of young children. Many people report that the narcissistic partner refuses to commit to or report on his schedule or routine. The target is the only parent who provides daily care to the children. The narcissist comes in and out of the home and often does so when the children are about to rest, go to bed, start a school lesson. When the target attempts to maintain the routine, the narcissist offers up a more exciting activity. And then the narcissist walks out, leaving the mother to manage the tired children, the unfinished meals, the incomplete school assignments. When the targeted parent attends to one activity, the narcissist accuses her of falling short on another. Since the target is responsible for everything in the home, he/she will always fall short on some area. It is not possible to manage all of the issues at one time.
3. Sabotaging the job of the target. This is done in many ways. One way that is rampant and many people are reporting on is that the narcissist demands attention from the target. Again this is a double bind. If the targeted parent provides the attention they are taking the time and focus off of their children. If they do not, the narcissist rages and accuses them of not paying attention to the family or family matters.
-Sending constant and multiple electronic communications to the targeted parent while they are simultaneously working full time and supervising children. In these communications the narcissist often makes false allegations or recreates scenarios falsely and in writing. Some of the narcissists are creating paper trails, reporting on false information that requires the recipient to deny the claims should they later be used legally against them. This forces the targeted parent to pay attention to these texts/emails instead of their jobs and children. The bottom line is that while the narcissist is focused on destroy, destruct, control and sending nonstop communications, the targeted parent is already compromised as they are working whilst caring for their children and is now subject to yet another demand. This is stressful and crazy making and is intended to get the targeted parent to buckle or otherwise give in to their demands.
-Sending communications in which the targeted parent is asked to research, review, report or opine. As stated above, the targeted parent is already maxed out and does not have the physical time or mental bandwidth for this. When the targeted parent does not do as requested, the narcissist claims that they are not invested in the child, are ignoring co parenting duties or otherwise acting unfavorably or not in accordance with what is in the best interest of the child. It is either stated of implied that the targeted parent's refusal to engage in these conversations is an indication of their poor character and intentions. This is just another way of creating a false narrative.
-Refusing to participate in daily activities of living with the family which prevents the targeted parent from attending to work activities. During Covid when people are limited and unable to make use of school, childcare or external support, the targeted parent may be physically unable to attend to work responsibilities without the assistance of the narcissist. The narcissist can easily disrupt the job of the targeted parent by refusing to supervise the young children. This is extremely stressful for the targeted parent.
There are many other ways in which the narcissist creates chaos in the home during these times. Unfortunately, the narcissist now has access to the people in the home all of the time, due to COVID restrictions.
It is important to remember that the narcissist will always do his/her best to maintain a favorable public persona. This will include berating and abusing family members while masquerading as a perfect parent on social media. They will report to the targeted parent that the targeted parent is problematic, not a good parent, a problem in many ways while they have not participated in any activities of daily living with the family at all. Their photos will depict them as a perfect parent.
It is important to not lose sight of what is real at this time. In isolation when a person is only receiving the input from a character disturbed individual who has the sole goal of destroying them and painting them in a negative light, it is easy to lose sight of reality. Do not give into the false reality that they are creating. Do not spend time arguing with them about things as you will not reach resolution as the argument is devised to provide them with fuel while compromising you. You can not and will not speak sense into a person who is devoid of empathy unless they recognize this is an issue and seek to make changes. This is uncommon. It is critical and urgent that you continue to focus, to the best of your ability on the goals that you have set for yourself. It is often useful for the targeted parent to document how they spend their time and days in order for them to have a clear means to review what they are doing and when.
It is approximated that one in fifteen people have a character disturbances such as the narcissistic spectrum disorders. I believe that this number is higher. Remember that narcissists only choose outstanding people with the capability to love, care and nurture them and other people. They attach to people who bring them up in status and credibility. If you have been targeted you are a star. You are a dynamic, integrated, amazing person who is special and unique. You are a gift. You are never alone.